“Can you just be kind to yourself” said my Osteo as I finished reeling off my frustrations about the ripple effects from my accident with the statement “and the thing is, I’m a yoga teacher I should know better.” His response was “you have just incurred a very serious injury where you almost lost your foot, you have done so much hard work in terms of your recovery & you’ve done this whilst continuing to live & work through a global pandemic, I think it’s time you gave yourself some slack.” – Point taken.
When I first began yoga many years ago I looked at The Yamas & Niyamas (the personal and social ethical guidelines of being a Yogi) & through my ignorance I thought, “I’ve totally got this” but as you move deeper into your practice, you discover that these guidelines are not something that you just ‘suddenly get’ they are acts of mindfulness every single day of our lives.
One of the things I thought “I’d got” all those many years ago was Ahimsa. Ahimsa specifically refers to the idea of doing no harm or engaging in non-violence. Those who know me, know that to be true of me right? Oh, how wrong could you be. On a daily basis there is someone I have violent thoughts about, who I place great expectations upon, who I constantly berate for not meeting those expectations & yes, you’ve guessed it, the person I’m talking about is me.
If I could only hear those thoughts said out loud, I think I’d spit my earl grey tea across the room in sheer horror.
I am worthy
So, here’s the big reveal “I’m not perfect!!” I’m far from that, it’s constant yoga for me to be kind to myself and stay connected to my true Self that knows that I have infinite potential at my fingertips and that I am worthy in this world that is constantly trying to reinforce that I am separate, unworthy and that I need to strive for perfection.
Be kind to yourself
My big question to you is, in this collective global dark night of the soul that we are experiencing, in what ways are you practicing Ahimsa to yourself? Can you step into the place of witness of the unrealistic expectations that have been embedded? Can you for at least one day of the week give two fingers to those expectations and be ok with the fact that the best you can do is to stay in your pyjamas and cook yourself some nourishing food and to know, that IS enough.
The brilliantly insightful Brene’ Brown brings a modern-day version of Tantric Yoga to her readers about the power of stepping into vulnerability and owning our judgements & shame.
Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of blame, judgement, and shame. Perfectionism is an unattainable goal. ~ Brene’ Brown
In this world that we currently find ourselves in, it is of utmost importance that we find time to be kind to ourselves, because until we are kind to ourselves how can we ever expect to see the world as a kind place to be in. Be kind to yourself.
With loving Kindness,